This past weekend I traveled to the University of Virginia with Penn Running Club. We left Friday around 3:30pm – the trip would have only taken 5 hours if we hadn’t taken any stops, but we ended up at our hotel about 11pm after encountering a lot of traffic and stopping at Panera for dinner along the way. It was a really fun car trip though; we sang the whole way
Passing by DC en route to Charlottesville
Saturday we woke up bright and early to get ready to race. The girl’s race started 9:15 and the boy’s at 10:15. We got there about 8:15 to warm up.
Seen along the course while watching the boy’s race
Apparently the course is pretty new; it was gorgeous – basically in the backyard of James Monroe at Ash-Lawn Highland. It was the estate of James Monroe from 1799-1825, and it’s right near Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
But it was an extremely tough course.
The first 2 miles weren’t very remarkable. Some small hills, some flat sections, a mixture of gravel, road, and (mostly) grass. After mile 2 though, things turned ugly. Rolling hills one after the other. Hills that forced you to hike more than run. A terrifying descent.
This was my slowest 6k time to date. Last year my first (and worst) time of the season was 30:07. This was 30:20. I’m not worried though; my legs were still heavy from the Rock ‘n’ Roll half last Sunday. Top it off with a misting rain and hills of death, and I think I actually did pretty well.
Some fun mile splits:
- 7:18 (this isn’t so bad)
- 8:02 (getting bad)
- 8:29 (ouch)
- 6:31 for the .73 (8:56 pace) (kill me)
Average pace 8:08, aka 17 seconds per mile slower for 3.73 miles than the half last weekend (7:51 average pace). Hills make a difference, y’all. Looking forward to the flat course at Princeton this Saturday!
Check out that hiking speed
Start of the boy’s race
One of our club members/my friends on the terrifying descent I mentioned
And to close, in the words of our treasurer: “Shout out to James Monroe for letting us race in his backyard this weekend!”